Sunday, December 24, 2017

The NERVE of some people

It was a cold, clear day yesterday, the first sunny day we've had in weeks.

The temp was about 10F.

Bundled up, I went about my usual morning routine: Releasing the chickens, opening the corral gate, topping off the water tank, de-icing the chicken waterer, then finally filling the feed boxes for the cattle.

It was as I was coming out of the barn after feeding the cows that a movement caught my eye. There in our driveway, not 20 feet away, was a coyote.

He was clearly as surprised to see me as I was to see him. I yanked off my gloves and pulled the camera out of my pocket (yet another example of why I try never to set foot outside without my camera -- you never know what might happen!) while the coyote bounced around the driveway, blocked by yard fences and the house, and tried to figure out where to go.

Finally in desperation, he darted into the garden (which had the gate open). That's about the time I got my camera turned on.

Of course, now he was trapped in the garden. What to do? He ricocheted around until he was finally able to blast his way through another gate, at which point he rather insolently stopped and watched me.

After this, he trotted along until he was able to cross into the neighbor's pasture.

Then he cantered away until he was over a hill and out of sight -- and out of reach of the chickens.

Honesty, the nerve of some people. Er, coyotes.

Meanwhile, I examined the animal's tracks in the garden.

They were surprisingly tiny prints. In fact, four of them could easily fit inside one of Mr. Darcy's paw prints (which were side by side later in the day, as Darcy sniffed around the coyote prints). When I saw those prints earlier while doing my chores (before I spotted the coyote), they were so small I thought they belonged to a house cat.

Here's some prints next to my boot print:

Well, regardless of paw print size, he was big enough to eat a chicken. Boy, did I spoil his Christmas dinner plans!


  1. Do you guys try to eliminate them?

    1. If the opportunity arises, yes; though it's usually an exercise in futility. Plus I don't normally go around armed in 10F weather at the crack of dawn, ha ha.

      - Patrice

  2. I am always afraid one will get my chickens, or attack my dog,but they are pretty to look at.

  3. Just wanted to say Merry Christmas to you and the family. Hope you are all doing well!

  4. During the summer it was leg mites and chicken lice, both conquered, next an over population of mice and pack rats as stated by locals all complaining, some that got into our house to their dismay and detriment. Next up, just yesterday while my husband was driving up our road about 3/4 of a mile away, he and my son saw a coyote. Did I mention that my chickens like to free range? Now I am afraid for their safety, they do get locked up at night but during the day they go out especially during good weather. I know a person that traps them, something about a bounty on them. I think I will give him a call. Country living seems like my line their line and trying to keep a peaceful co-existance in between. Merry Christmas to all on the celebration on the birth of our Lord.

  5. Little footprints cat-sized? Looks like a gray fox.

  6. Mr. Darcy probably not safe without a armed guard.
    At least until he gets full sized and even then a conflict with a coyote is at best a even match. With the advantage going to coyote.

  7. Cat size prints...Fox. Grey fox are between 8-15 lbs. (My mom had a den of them living across the road from her house (in town) that she watched as they watched her every day. I They kept mice and rat populations down. Every time I pointed the camera at them they farted into the brush, so like mom I just watched and enjoyed.
    A coyote that small would not be out of the mother’s sight yet and one that young would not have grown into it’s ears, lol.
    Thank you for being so observant and sharing one of His creatures with us.
    Merry Christmas.

    1. ROFLOL -- I think you meant "faded into the brush" ...

      - Patrice

    2. OH, MY!
      Faded into the brush...